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KATE Middleton beamed with Prince William today as they viewed their first official portrait together.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looked up at the painting by award-winning artist Jamie Coreth, at the University of Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum this morning.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's stunning portrait went on public display todayCredit: Jamie Coreth/Fine Art Commissions
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Kate beamed as she and Wills looked up at the huge work of artCredit: Paul Edwards

The huge piece of artwork, commissioned by the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund as a gift to Cambs., shows the couple stood side-by-side as they gaze into the distance.

Wills cuts a casual stance with one hand in his pocket while Kate dazzles in the same shimmering green dress she wore during her 2020 Ireland visit.

The painting went on public display at the University of Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum today - and the duke and duchess, both 40, were quick to view it for themselves.

After looking at the painting, William said: "It's quite big."

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He also told Coreth it was "amazing," before the Cambridges wrote on Twitter they were "delighted" with the image.

The duke and duchess both studied history of art at St Andrews University, though William later switched to geography.

William said in a Big Issue Q&A session published this week to mark his 40th birthday: "I studied a bit of art history at university.

"Had to give it up.

"I kept falling asleep in the lectures. Terrible.

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"We did a lot of Renaissance, which was amazing.

"But then once we got into modern art, I started to get a bit dozy."

Coreth said he worked to incorporate the City of Cambridge into the portrait by painting the background with the tones and colours of many of the historical stone buildings synonymous with the city.

He also used a hexagonal architectural motif seen on buildings across Cambridge.

The artist said: "It has been the most extraordinary privilege of my life to be chosen to paint this picture.

"I wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses in a manner where they appeared both relaxed and approachable, as well as elegant and dignified.

'RELAXED & APPROACHABLE'

"As it is the first portrait to depict them together, and specifically during their time as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I wanted the image to evoke a feeling of balance between their public and private lives."

He added: "The piece was commissioned as a gift for the people of Cambridgeshire, and I hope they will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.” 

William and Kate continued their engagement in Cambridgeshire this afternoon, visiting the Milton branch of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) before sitting with supporters and partners of housing charity Jimmy's.

Kate, who has been patron of EACH for 10 years, donned a floral face mask as she entered the hospice.

I wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses in a manner where they appeared both relaxed and approachable, as well as elegant and dignified.

Jamie CorethArtist

William joined her as they met three families who make use of the charity's services, including 12-year-old James Hall, who has a genetic connective tissue disorder.

The couple were greeted by cheers and a round of applause by school children from the region, who waved flags upon their arrival during Children's Hospice Week.

Inside, Kate lent a hand to youngsters with their artwork - telling one girl "don't be shy," as she painted her hand.

Kate sat with an eight-year-old girl called Willow Bamber, who suffers from a severe neurological condition called Leigh's disease.

The duchess invited the youngster to paint her hand, and as she tentatively started, Kate said: "Don't be shy."

Once her hand was completely covered in paint, she pressed it down on the canvas and was cheered as she lifted her hand up to reveal the handprint.

At the same time, William helped the children add to the canvas by sticking seaweed on it.

Members of the public will be able to see the portrait of Kate and William at the Fitzwilliam Museum for three years, after which the artwork will be exhibited in other community spaces and galleries around Cambridgeshire.

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The painting will also be loaned to the National Portrait Gallery for a short time in 2023 to mark the Gallery’s reopening. 

Whilst on display, the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund will continue to work with the museum to ensure the portrait is used as a means of encouraging children and young people of all backgrounds from across the county to take an interest in art in all its forms.

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Artist Jamie Coreth said it was an honour to complete the artworkCredit: Paul Edwards
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Kate smiled as she an Wills looked at the portrait this morningCredit: Paul Edwards
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She and William shared a snap of their portrait as schoolchildren peered up at itCredit: Jamie Coreth
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The duke and duchess visited the University of Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum to view the portrait todayCredit: Splash
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Kate waved at onlookers outside the museumCredit: Max Mumby
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As they left, she and Wills stopped to chat with school kidsCredit: Getty
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Kate later got stuck into some hand painting during a visit to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices in MiltonCredit: AP
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She and William also met 12-year-old James Hall, who has a genetic connective tissue disorder, and his familyCredit: AFP
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The pair later sat with supporters and partners of housing charity Jimmy's in CambridgeCredit: AP
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Kate appeared delighted as she arrived to hear about the crucial support the charity offers to people experiencing homelessnessCredit: AP
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The duchess then made time for a spot of football at Newmarket Racecourse, telling the crowd it would be difficult as she was 'wearing wedges'Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd .
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Kate wore the shimmering green dress by The Vampire’s Wife in Ireland back in 2020Credit: Rex
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